Crowd Sourcing Walking Maps in Victoria


http://www.walkingmaps.com.au/ has put together a neat little front-end to Google Maps that lets people create and annotate their favourite walks around Victoria, and the rest of Australia. It's put together by Victoria Walks (http://www.victoriawalks.org.au/) and sponsored by VicHealth, no doubt in an admirable attempt to get us lazy obese Aussies off the coach and admiring the natural and built beauty around us!

Walks can be rated, time estimations are given, distances are calculated and even topography is now factored in.

1 comments:

  1. Nice interface, but it has the same shortcomings as virtually every "add your favourite route to our database" site (bikely, gpsies, ...): they don't make any use of the network effect. They treat every walk as a self-contained journey in its own right, imagining that the only goal is to go and do a complete walk start to finish. Their "discover" interface shows walks as points.

    What most people probably actually want is to combine different routes together, mixing and matching a bit of this and a bit of that. For that, you need to see a single map showing all the routes as actual lines.

    Also, the filtering seems to be based around what is easy to implement, rather than what is useful. Showing walks "with public transport" sounds useful...until you realise a walk with a train station at one end only doubles its effective distance. Filtering by distance would be far more useful than filtering by "drinking water available". The filter "Show walks with...General" is amusing. Distinguishing walk formats (one-way/car shuffle, out-and-back, circuit) would be helpful. There's also no distinction between walks that are genuinely interesting in their own right, and those that are just a better way to get from A to B.

    I'm also not quite sure what to make of the lack of distinction between urban walks and bushwalks. Maybe this is a good thing? There's plenty of good bushwalking resources available already, so maybe their scope should be better defined. Dunno.

    ReplyDelete